Uganda is in the spotlight again and this time, it is for a documentary by Academy award-winning director Roger Ross Williams titled God Loves Uganda, the reason the world may be talking about the pearl of Africa once more.
Just by hearing the title, you can hardly guess the subject matter of the movie, although, God loves Uganda, according to the makers, is an examination of the work of American Christian missionaries in Uganda.
It methodically, and in almost roundabout fashion, circles ever closer to its true target, which is the anti-homosexuality bill tabled by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati in 2009. Williams uses his documentary to make a point that Ugandans’ homophobia was imported by the conservative Christian missionaries in Africa.
The documentary features preachers Scott Lively and Lou Engle, two strong anti-gay activists. Scott Lively’s 2009 trip to Uganda saw him advocate for the bill and his campaign features heavily in God Loves Uganda.
According to Hrc.org, a human rights site, Lively is currently standing trial in the US for crimes against humanity for his role in engineering the Ugandan “kill the gays” bill that could allegedly result in the death penalty for LGBT people.
Other appearances in the documentary include Pastor Robert Kayanja, who compares homosexual activity to murder, Zambian priest Kapya Kaoma, defrocked Rev Christopher Ssenyonjo who allegedly fled Uganda because he is a gay activist and firebrand anti-gay pastor Martin Ssempa.
The 83-minute documentary originally premiered at the Sundance Film festival in 2013 where it won an audience award and continues to screen in different theatres around the world.
On December 6, the Academy Awards narrowed down the potential Documentary Film nominees to fifteen – among them God Loves Uganda – which will be narrowed down to a final five when the full list of Oscar nominations will be announced on January 16.
If the documentary makes the final nominee list or even wins the whole thing, this is one milestone not many Ugandans will celebrate, given the subject at hand that many still can’t comprehend.